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Mach last won the day on September 27 2013

Mach had the most liked content!

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  1. Thank you for your review. Your comment about crowds on Carnival being loud and raucous is true but typically on short summer time sailings. My experience on longer cruises has been much like yours. I've always found the wait staff to be excellent... never had a complaint. So glad you enjoyed your TA and the ship.
  2. We have a group sailing on the Carnival Magic from Galveston in a mere 11 days. We planned and booked this voyage over a year ago. Last evening, one of the guests contacted me and told me that she was informed that her home state of Colorado was going to recognize her with an award for her work as a volunteer victim advocate and counselor. She is a brilliant and giving woman fully deserving of the recognition. The rub is that the ceremony is scheduled for one day after we set sail. She was fine with the idea of flying to our first port of call, Montego Bay, and joining the ship there. I've had this happen with my clients previously and there was no issue. I told her I was sure there wouldn't be a problem. I contacted Carnival and was stunned to learn that we could not do this. As of May 8, 2013 the new policy at Carnival is that if you miss the ship, too bad... you're screwed. Unless you failed to sail because of a certifiable weather event you will not be permitted to join the cruise. If your car breaks down, too bad... you should have maintained it better and that's EXACTLY what I was told by a supervisor at Miami. Is this nuts or what??? Their reasoning is that having someone join the cruise at a port MIGHT make customs no longer consider the voyage a closed loop cruise. HUH??? What the heck do they care? The individual has a passport, the cruise is paid in full and she has no problem with spending her own money to fly to Montego Bay. Holy smoke, I'm pissed. I brought this up to John Heald. He contacted Miami and was stunned to be told the same thing. Now, remember... this is a MIGHT situation... not something that the government has told Carnival but something the conceive might occur. Cruising is becoming less and less appealing with all of the idiots making changes at the top....
  3. Surely, my heart is heavy for the family I have never been blessed with children but I can assure you that If I was lucky enough to have a young one my eyes would be glued on him/her. I am not assigning blame... far from it but a six year old... in a pool? No more need be said...
  4. We've been on cruises with outbreaks and, knock on wood, so far we've never had the virus. We do as stated above, "wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face". We've also been on a couple of Holland America ships that had the virus on the cruise before. After the ship has been cleaned they use servers in the buffet line for the first couple of days of the cruise and normal table items like salt and pepper shakers are removed. And that's precisely how it should be handled. Truth be told, the cruise lines handle Noro vastly better than any land based establishment...
  5. Despite the media's desire to categorize Noro as a cruise ship illness there have been several recent reports of land based incidents. There was an outbreak in July at Yellowstone Park that sickened over 200 people, on that assaulted over 300 at a school near Miami 10 days ago. Unfortunately, the Celebrity Summit had to return to port this past Saturday with 300 ill I don't need a vaccine to protect myself from Noro... flu, yes, Noro, no. All I need to do is wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching my face and I'll be fine. If people would follow normal hygiene guidelines the incidents of Noro would decrease dramatically...
  6. Reviews have very little influence on me... pretty close to none, in fact. For over 5 years I was a moderator at another cruise oriented web site, a very large one, and I saw virtually hundreds of reviews. Most people who are pleased with something, in this case a cruise, say little to nothing. Someone who is upset about a purchase, event or a cruise tends to be vocal. That's been the case forever and the internet has made expressing one's displeasure VASTLY easier. Most of the negative reviews have almost nothing to do with the cruise line, the way the guest was treated on board or even the destinations involved. The complainers mostly kvetch about issues that the cruise line has no control over... most frequently other passengers. I've seen people complain about too many kids on board; not enough kids on board; noisy neighbors; overly expressive neighbors; guests who are too fat (believe it or not...); people who laugh too loud in the shows; the people they've had to deal with on shore tours; people talking with their mouths full and so on and so forth.. On rare occasions, complaints are valid and, if they're brought to the attention of the staff, are most often corrected on the spot. Some complaints can not be corrected. I've personally witnessed a passenger complaining (loudly...) to the folks at Guest Services that the costumes on stage in the evening show were too revealing. Do these people not ever go out on the pool deck? So, at least in my eyes, a negative review is a way for an individual to 'get even' with the cruise line regardless of how nonsensical the gripe is. Sadly, many neophyte cruisers read these diatribes and believe what they read. Very recently, in the last few days, a report from the government (if you can believe what comes from the government...) claims that a very large percentage of online reviews are faked... people hired by a company to either post kudos for their product or negative reports about a competitor's. As has been said for thousands of years... caveat emptor...
  7. Ya' know... I cruise to be at sea. Rock walls, ice skating rinks, Central Park, bumper cars and such aren't things I have any interest in. Please don't tell me that I'll find things on the ship that have only been found on land. I DON"T WANT LAND! I want the SEA!!! Why the heck would I want to spend thousands of dollars to get on a ship and see what I could see by visiting the mall? A SHIP is a ship. It's not an amusement park. Let if be... please...
  8. Just a point here... the ships that do NOT have the brunch available have breakfast in the main dining room available on sea days. Those ships are the Fascination, Ecstasy, Imagination, Inspiration, Elation, Paradise, Sensation, Victory, Legend, Miracle and Spirit. The brunch is fantastic and includes some absolutely wonderful mid morning items including the most stunning steak and eggs one can run into anywhere... at sea or on dry land. I'm a very early riser and the last thing that I'm interested upon getting moving is food. Give me a few hours to get all of the vitals up to speed and I'm ready. Very good move on Carnival's part. I know that my folks are thrilled!!!
  9. How cool! Port Everglades is one of my favorite ports and I LOVE Ft. Lauderdale! What a great place to hang out before a cruise and this makes it even better!!!
  10. It is not just homeporting there, there are quite a few ships that visit there throughout the year. Boston is a great port to visit with a load of both historical and cultural excursions. We will be there in 2 weeks. We would hate to see Boston fall off the cruising map. I agree that Boston is a great port. I love the city but, trust me, the municipal governments and port authorities will most likely bend over for the Sierra Club and start making unreasonable demands of the cruise lines that both homeport and call there. Why do these folks attack the cruise lines? They're easy targets. Do you see the Sierra Club protesting flights out of Boston Logan for pollution? Nope and you can be sure that the airlines dump VASTLY more carbon and CO2 into the air than the ships do. As was mentioned in the piece above there are new regulations in place to reduce pollutants from ships and using shore side power is a far simpler solution than they claim but those truths won't do a thing to quiet them.
  11. So be it. Move the ships from Boston... more options for those of us who sail from other ports. We've seen issues like this in the past that ended up driving ships away. If Boston doesn't need the economic impact of cruise ships homeporting there other ports would love it. Our homeport, Galveston, has residences within a few blocks of the port as you can see in this picture.. Like Boston, these residences are very old and many have historical designation. No one on Galveston Island complains about the ships and there's considerably more traffic at this port than Boston will ever see. Some ports lobby the cruise lines for years to get ships and when they get them they try to pressure the lines into making concessions, usually financial. I say move.
  12. Given acceptable price and destination I'd probably sail on the ship but certainly not based on the tests conducted with the model. An 882 foot long ship with a beam of 92 feet would seem, well, old. Also, if it IS an exact reproduction of the original huge numbers of the amenities that we've come to expect on a ship will be missing. How about a bulbous bow to keep the wake down and improve efficiency? No stabilizers? There goes the ride quality. I'm sure it's an interesting project but it's not going to produce a ship that modern cruisers would really be interested in sailing on.
  13. For sure. Just this morning on Fox News there was a piece about the captain of the Costa Concordia who is currently on trial for 32 instances of manslaughter. They had to add that 'Carnival Cruise Lines' is the parent company of Costa. They LOVE to bash Carnival. Of course, Carnival Cruise Lines is NOT the parent company of Costa... Carnival PLC is but they never mention that...
  14. Yep... old or new. That's why new cars come with a warranty... SOMETHING is likely to go wrong... minor or major something is likely to go wrong....
  15. The brand new Royal Princess lost power in the Med over the weekend and is making her way to Naples for repairs... http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Royal-Princess-Cruse-Ship-Loses-Power-in-Middle-of-Mediterranean-2013-09-23/ As I've said in the past, a cruise ship is a machine and machines occasionally break...
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